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  1. #1
    Jean Grey Scholar Mercury's Avatar
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    Default X-MEN #5 Review *spoilers*

    Today. The Reavers, having used "nonlethal, fast-acting tranquilizer darts that interfere with the X-gene," have taken out five of the seven X-Men. A determined Sunfire and dazed Polaris are the only members left to fend them off. Just as Sunfire is about to attack, the Reavers knock him out with a dart. Lorna assesses the situation, before magnetically taking control of Wolverine's body.

    Extended Flashback. The Hellfire Gala Election. Jean has psi-linked all of the mutants on Earth and the S.W.O.R.D. station to hold the election for the new X-Men team. She calls on Polaris, who hesitates, thinking, "Oh, whatever...just not me." Jean quickly changes her thought to "...just pick me," surprising Lorna, and before we know it, the election is complete and Lorna has been voted to be one of the seven members of the new team.

    Monday. Polaris prevents a nuclear meltdown and contains a "stricken reactor and its poisonous fuel" in a magnetic force field. With the help of Rogue, she transports and hurls the reactor into the sun.

    Tuesday. Central Park. Polaris and the rest of the team fight off a group of monsters, presumably from Gameworld. She encounters a seal terrier hybrid, noticing a camera attached to the collar around its neck. She stares into the camera and asks, "Who's watching us?" Cut to -

    Dr. Stasis watches Polaris on a monitor, noting, "Smart cookie, Polaris. Correction: Dr. Polaris. She did the work and earned the title." He presses a button on his console, which instantly kills the "Sealmeranian," stating, "Everyone fights for Dr. Stasis, or you shall face the consequences."

    Today. The Reavers are congratulating themselves on capturing the X-Men. Polaris rises, raising Wolverine along with her. She declares, "You're going to tell me who put you up to this while my friend here cuts the weapons right off of you," before magnetically manipulating Wolverine to cut off several of the Reavers' limbs. One of the Reavers blinds Polaris with brilliant light that emanates from her eyes. Polaris acclimates herself to the new circumstances before revealing, "I don't just see the world with my eyes...I see it on the electromagnetic spectrum. I see the iron in your blood and the metal fillings in your teeth." She rips the fillings out of their teeth, while Wolverine gains consciousness. The two of them finish the Reavers off, as the rest of the team wakes up.

    Polaris approaches and asks to speak privately with Jean. She asks her, "Why did you lie for me? I was thinking, 'Just not me.'" Jean responds, "I didn't lie. It's true that you said that telepathically, but I heard what you told yourself before that. 'Just pick me' became 'just not me.' I went with your first impulse. Not the one where you talked yourself out of succeeding." Lorna admits, "It is so annoying when you're right, and changing what I said is so you." Jean assures her, "You're welcome. You need the X-Men as much as the X-Men need you, Polaris."

    Later. The X-Men hold a lunch for "their human friends who are not as fortunate." Jean and Emma take notice of Ben Urich, who approaches and asks Scott to speak privately. Out on the street, Ben Urich reveals that he knows Scott died and somehow managed to be resurrected. He also notes the same about Jumbo and Nathan Summers. Urich advises Scott that he is not done writing his piece - "maybe the biggest story in, well...over two thousand years" - telling him that he'll give him a day to think about what he might want to say.


    Last edited by Mercury; 11-24-2021 at 08:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    Not reading op since I want to read issue first but I did see scans of the Jean Lorna interaction and it seemed like she was helping her through her self doubt.
    I agree it can have some morally dubious aspects but that goes w/ most of a telepaths actions and this instance is nothing special in that regards

  3. #3
    Jean Grey Scholar Mercury's Avatar
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    I loved this issue. I do have one quibble: I wish Duggan had written an impromptu Gala speech for Lorna in which she listed some of her motivations for wanting to be picked for the team. After all, that was her first impulse - "pick me" - and, though Jean pushed her to share with the rest of the mutants what she secretly wanted to do, she should've been written as charmingly fumbling through a speech that was deeply poignant as a result. This would've been a wonderful opportunity for a writer to write a multilayered speech that should've read as both improvised and brutally sincere.

    No matter. Dr. Lorna Dane was stunning. This issue showcased her powers so beautifully, from shielding herself from radiation, to containing a "stricken reactor," to revealing: "I don't just see the world with my eyes...I see it on the electromagnetic spectrum. I see the iron in your blood and the metal fillings in your teeth," before ripping those fillings out of the Reavers' teeth. Just :chef's kiss:

    In either case, I continue to fall more in love with this team. I noticed that Polaris, in her letter to Northstar, made a point of highlighting that her time on the team is temporary, which saddened me. It looks like they do plan on changing the roster in 7-8 months. I want this team to stay together for at least 2-3 years.

    Also, the Urich plot has reached a crescendo.
    Last edited by Mercury; 11-24-2021 at 07:30 AM.

  4. #4
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    Let's see Polaris gets some good moments, finaly addressing the mutant ressurection. And laura is continuing to be teen logan with boobs... sigh why can't she get a good writer.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Ambaryerno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dthirds3 View Post
    Let's see Polaris gets some good moments, finaly addressing the mutant ressurection. And laura is continuing to be teen logan with boobs... sigh why can't she get a good writer.
    If Laura was completely fine being used as a meat puppet by Lorna, and didn't chew her out over using her as a weapon without her consent, that's just another sign the writers don't get her AT ALL.
    Still hoping for that Helix Reunion...

    The New X-Men: Can't let you grow up because you make everyone look old. But we can sure as @#$% mindlessly kill you off for shock value!

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  6. #6
    Incredible Member GeneTitan's Avatar
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    It's a slippery slope for Jean to go with what she heard Lorna think before she thought "Just not me." Jean has been set up to have nothing but the best of intentions, but who is she to decide what's best for Lorna?
    This is a very good plot point though, because it, again, brings up the debate of the ethics of telepathy.

    Urich is being very "ballsy" with Cyclops. He basically rolled up to his event with an ultimatum. Can't wait to see how this all play out.
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  7. #7
    Jean Grey Scholar Mercury's Avatar
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    Speaking of Laura, she finally let Everett know that they need to talk.

  8. #8
    Incredible Member GeneTitan's Avatar
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    I agree. I was expecting Laura to be enraged at being used like that. It was a total violation. Lorna has enough power herself where she didn't need to use Laura's body.
    Mutant and Proud!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambaryerno View Post
    If Laura was completely fine being used as a meat puppet by Lorna, and didn't chew her out over using her as a weapon without her consent, that's just another sign the writers don't get her AT ALL.
    She just wanted to know what she did while out. Loran apologize. And she wants to talk with synch. I feel like there trying to make the vault her defining trait

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Soulsword323's Avatar
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    I enjoyed this. A lot of things coming together, while expanding on Lorna's character.

    Continue to love the way Duggan writes Lorna, and it's really refreshing to see a writer trying with Lorna. It was nice seeing Lorna flex her power here too. Blocking that radiation, and taking care of that reactor was nice. Also love the EM sight thing. A great reference to a feat Lorna's done in the past.

    However, I do wish Duggan could have connected the way Lorna was feeling to her own character history. Williams had that problem too where she would just mention all these things Polaris was feeling, but it had no connection Lorna's journey as a character. Linking Lorna's personal experiences to explain why she's feeling the way she is would make this issue much stronger. I also wish her motivation was deeper.

    As a big Polaris and Jean fan, I adored seeing them interacting in an actual significant way. Hopefully we continue to see these two get moments together.

  11. #11
    Jean Grey Scholar Mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulsword323 View Post
    However, I do wish Duggan could have connected the way Lorna was feeling to her own character history. Williams had that problem too where she would just mention all these things Polaris was feeling, but it had no connection Lorna's journey as a character. Linking Lorna's personal experiences to explain why she's feeling the way she is would make this issue much stronger. I also wish her motivation was deeper.

    As a big Polaris and Jean fan, I adored seeing them interacting in an actual significant way. Hopefully we continue to see these two get moments together.
    Agree with all of this.

    Firstly, Duggan missed two opportunities to really delve into her motivations: her Gala speech and the letter to Northstar. However, as you noted, he's done such a good job writing and bringing some light to her otherwise, that this can be somewhat overlooked. Still, it's bothering me a bit.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member AppleJ's Avatar
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    Soooo ... Rogue is basically absent from her own team book yet again? Does she appear at all?

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member Askani's Flame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AppleJ View Post
    Soooo ... Rogue is basically absent from her own team book yet again? Does she appear at all?
    Lorna was the focus of this book. I think it's ok given that Rogue has done more of note in the previous 4 issues than her entire Howard Excalibur run. I am sure there will be good things for her down the line, but this was a good issue for Lorna to get some shine. It will be ok.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Kingdom X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercury View Post
    I loved this issue. I do have one quibble: I wish Duggan had written an impromptu Gala speech for Lorna in which she listed some of her motivations for wanting to be picked for the team. After all, that was her first impulse - "pick me" - and, though Jean pushed her to share with the rest of the mutants what she secretly wanted to do, she should've been written as charmingly fumbling through a speech that was deeply poignant as a result. This would've been a wonderful opportunity for a writer to write a multilayered speech that should've read as both improvised and brutally sincere.
    Definitely agree with you. I know Lorna fans have been waiting for a writer to make a connection back to her Genosha days, but it seems like that's wishful thinking atp. At the end of the day I still like the characterization of Lorna here, but every writer isn't an Ewing who can easily tie-in old continuity to new stories.

    I like that Laura at least expressed some discomfort with being used by Lorna, but still hoping to see more from her in this run.

    The voting stuff was iffy to me. Jean's heart is in the right place but you really shouldn't meddle with what's supposed to be a fair vote in any way. Also Lorna's melancholy is vague enough that it could just be self-doubt or it could be something deeper like an actual depressive episode. If it's the later I do think it's inappropriate for Jean to be like "what's best for you is joining my super hero team."

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneTitan View Post
    It's a slippery slope for Jean to go with what she heard Lorna think before she thought "Just not me." Jean has been set up to have nothing but the best of intentions, but who is she to decide what's best for Lorna?
    This is a very good plot point though, because it, again, brings up the debate of the ethics of telepathy.

    Urich is being very "ballsy" with Cyclops. He basically rolled up to his event with an ultimatum. Can't wait to see how this all play out.
    What Urich did wasn’t an ultimatum he basically said the truth that he and their enemies know about the resurrections just not the how.
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